Convertibles bring images of cruising sunny coastal highways with the top down and wind in your hair. But can these stylish cars still haul your stuff when needed? Convertibles actually do have trunks, but they tend to be quite small compared to the sedans, and SUVs.
This post will explore the cargo capacities found in popular convertible models and provide tips for fitting luggage, groceries, and other items into the compact trunk. We’ll also look at add-ons like trunk cargo racks and inflatabl bags that boost hauling abilities.
In a Few Words
Yes, convertibles do have trunks. However, cargo space is far more limited compared to coupes and sedans, with many mainstream models offering less than 12 cubic feet with the rear seat folded. Careful packing and accessories like trunk racks and hitch mounts can boost capacity. But occasionally using a secondary vehicle may be needed for larger hauling jobs. With realistic expectations and creative loading, convertibles can still transport a reasonable amount of luggage and gear.
Key Takeaways So Far
- Convertibles have trunks, but they tend to be much smaller than other body styles
- Free up the trunk space by putting the top up
- Using flexible luggage and folding rear seats helps maximize usable trunk room
- Additional cargo carriers may be needed for bigger loads
Overview of Trunk Sizes in Mainstream Convertibles
When evaluating whether a convertible can meet your cargo needs, the first specification to check is trunk volume. Here’s a comparison of some mainstream convertible models and their total cargo space with the rear seat folded down:
|Trunk Volume (cu. ft.)
|BMW 4 Series
|Mazda MX-5 Miata
As the table shows, trunk space can vary widely depending on the convertible. The Ford Mustang convertible leads the pack with room for multiple pieces of luggage, while the two-seat Miata can barely squeeze in a couple small bags.
Tips for Using the Convertible Trunk Effectively
While cargo room is at a premium in most convertibles, you can optimize what space is available:
- Put the top up. The soft top takes up a good part of the trunk space when folded down. For example the soft-top of Audi A5 Convertibe takes up about 60 liters of space when folded down.
- Use soft-sided luggage. Bags that can conform to odd shapes and angles will make better use of the trunk nooks and crannies. Hard shells may not fit well.
- Pack efficiently. Make sure you tetris items tightly with no empty spots. This prevents bags from shifting around while driving.
- Fold rear seats (if possile). Some convertibles like the BMW 4-Series have rear seats that fold down. This adds a nice chunk of extra space for oversized items. You can even fit golf clubs (sometimes two sets of golf clubs) or ski in there.
- Remove tonneau cover. The fabric cover over the stowed convertible top takes up precious volume. Ditch it for trips where you’ll need the room.
Proper packing and loading ensures you utilize every possible inch. But for larger hauling jobs, most convertible owners need supplemental solutions.
Alternative Cargo Carriers to Increase Space
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When the convertible trunk reaches its limits, there are some clever products to expand hauling capabilities:
Trunk Mounted Cargo Solutions
- Rack systems – Companies like Yakima make cargo racks that mount to the trunk lid. These can accommodate bulky items like bags, camping gear, small coolers, etc.
- Hitch racks – A trailer hitch receiver can be installed to use rack systems that mount in the rear. Some offer fold-down platforms to carry gear at the back of the vehicle.
- Cargo bags – For occasional overflows, a weatherproof rooftop cargo bag secured to the trunk lid provides overflow space. Just be mindful of overall vehicle height.
Gooseneck hitches and receivers allow convertibles to pull small trailers for expanded cargo-hauling abilities. Just be careful not to exceed tow ratings.
What If the Trunk is Too Small?
Sometimes even with luggage tetris skills and every accessory installed, a convertible’s trunk is still inadequate. In these cases, owners have a few options:
- Use a second vehicle for family trips or when more cargo capacity is needed. The convertible can still shine as fun weekend wheels.
- Rent a van, SUV or pickup truck for occasional oversized loads rather than acquire an additional vehicle.
- Consider trading the convertible for a sporty coupe or sedan if cargo needs outweigh the open-air benefits.
While their compact trunks require some packing finesse, convertibles can still carry gear for quick getaways and daily driving duties. With smart loading techniques and supplemental cargo accessories, you can comfortably enjoy top-down cruising without completely sacrificing hauling utility.
As a proud convertible owner for over a decade now, I’ve learned to work around the modest trunk sizes that come with these fun-loving rides. While you’ll never fit everything and the kitchen sink back there, a few smart packing methods and accessories make daily use totally doable.
The key is flexibility – in both your expectations and your cargo. Soft-sided duffel bags mold into every nook and cranny far better than rigid suitcase. And leave that trunk organizer at home – it just eats up valuable real estate! Tetris your gear efficiently with the rear seat folded down and you’ll be amazed how much fits.
For occasional overflows, I use a trunk-mount cargo rack – perfect for extra vacation luggage or camping gear.
Could I haul more in an SUV? Sure, but then I’d miss out on miles of sunny drives with the wind in my hair! For me, the joys of dropping the top outweigh the cargo concessions. Just be creative with packing and accessories for those few times you need extra room. Because when your vehicle puts a smile on your face every time you drive, you find ways to make it work.
While convertibles will always have cargo compromises compared to their enclosed counterparts, a bit of clever packing and helpful accessories can allow you to haul a reasonable amount of gear. The trunk space tradeoff is worth it for many who prioritize fun in the sun over maximum utility. For more tips on living with a convertible, check out our other articles. Because with some informed planning, you really can have the best of both worlds – open air thrills and everyday practicality.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, all convertible models have a trunk, though the size and shape varies greatly depending on the vehicle. Some small 2-seat roadsters like the Mazda Miata have very tiny storage space, while larger models may have trunks closer in size to other coupes.
Using soft-sided bags that can conform to irregular cargo shapes, packing tightly with no empty space, folding rear seats if available, and removing tonneau covers are some tips to optimize convertible cargo room.
Optional accessories like trunk racks, hitch mounts, and trailers can provide supplemental cargo capacity. Or a secondary vehicle can be used when transporting larger loads.
Convertibles can certainly serve as practical daily transportation with some modest cargo concessions. Expect to occasionally need alternate transport for larger loads. But for day-to-day needs, smart packing makes a small convertible trunk usable for items like groceries and luggage for two on weekend getaways.
In-house writer and editor at CabrioNation. I've been a lifelong fan of convertibles ever since my first car, a well-worn Bimmer convertible that I learned to maintain from the ground up. Since then I've owned many soft and hard top models, becoming an experienced DIY mechanic and care taker. I also run a small repair shop and rental service in Montpellier, where I get to share the wind-in-your-hair feeling with customers while also helping fellow cabrio enthusiasts on maintenance and top repairs.